Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.59 value).
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, Astro SuperBowl dims the lights for a cosmic bowling experience that embodies the center's intergalactic theme. The rest of the week, the facility rumbles under more earthly bulbs as bowlers blitz pins during rounds of open bowling, tournaments, leagues, and parties. Instead of using synthetic material or giant planks of butter to make slick surfaces, Astro SuperBowl whittled each of its 44 lanes from real wood. The bowling center surrounds its lanes with a spread of other amenities, including a full-service bar, a game room, and a pro shop run by a certified ball driller. The facility has also been recently renovated to include 44 40-inch flat screen televisions, a modernized scoring system, and updated ball racks and returns.
Before rushing into full-fledged competition, players at Oak Hills Lanes hone their craft with pay-as-you-go practice shots. By detecting which pins need to topple, pinsetters enable patrons to score tricky spares as they rehearse for real games or when they must knock down a neighbor's tacky lawn ornaments. Once they've warmed their throwing arms, they face off against comrades during open hours. In addition to bites such as pizza and burgers, the newly remodeled snack bar's cooks sling tacos, enchiladas, and even pancakes. Drinks are also available from a large new bar. Such noshes fuel bowlers of all ages and skill levels at various leagues, but soda and ice cream serve as the main power source during all-inclusive parties.
University Bowl embraces a quirky approach to bowling runs. A Bowler Entertainment System, for instance, enlivens frames with themed graphics, and the 32 lanes come equipped with programmable bumpers to relieve players of gutter-ball anxiety. Bowlers craving a more competitive game can join a variety of leagues, including a Spurs Ticket League that lavishes entrants with the chance to win Spurs ticket packages and merchandise, and the Lucky Lotto League that dispenses scratch-off tickets weekly. After their final rolls, guests can even pop into the 11th Frame Pub to unwind with some of the most lauded Texas-bred beers and cocktails while viewing sports blown up on an 88-inch projection screen. The result of all this excess: a bowling center that's regularly voted as San Antonio's best.
Sunset Bowling Lanes opened in 1959 with 24 solid-wood lanes and a stockpile of miniature pencils to keep track of spares and strikes. The alley has since upgraded to computerized scoring systems while also maintaining the charm of classic tenpin entertainment. In addition to its open bowling and league opportunities, Sunset Bowling Lanes hosts events such as college nights—which provide students with discounts so they can save up for books or exam mulligans—and keeps its patrons fueled for the eternal turkey hunt with burgers and drinks from the snack bar.
Organized by the Austin Sports and Social Club, the community-oriented Downtown Dash TX unleashes teams on a race across the city rife with physical challenges, social interactions, and mental puzzles. The undefined course lets participants choose their own route, but with a catch: travel must be completed on foot or by public transportation, not on bicycles, rollerblades, or stolen emus. While following a clue sheet, teams attempt to topple up to a dozen challenges all while encountering some of Austin's most historic and renowned sites. Upon crossing the finish line, the top three teams receive a special prize, but everyone wins during a postrace party that stretches the day's festivities into the evening. There will also be random drawings in which every team has a chance to win. The race benefits the Austin Sunshine Camps.
Beyond the race, Austin Sports and Social Club offers a range of coed team sports leagues, including soccer, softball, dodgeball, bowling, and sand volleyball. Participants are able to socialize on the court and at team happy hours following games.